Let’s talk about my New Year’s resolutions.

There are lots of things I’ve wanted to do, but chose not to in the interest of preserving spoons for a perceived “better time,” which I imagined occurring after treatment when I would feel better/not need to devote my energy solely to physical healing. Buuuuuuuut with the failure of all those treatments and my subsequent new-found sense of Now… Let’s talk about my New Year’s resolutions.


I’m going to listen to one audiobook per month since I can finally afford an Audible subscription.

Truly, “serendipity” doesn’t even begin to describe what the Universe has effortlessly brought into my life since The Big Relapse began. Everything I’ve needed to get through each stage has practically been placed into my hands with a loving, “Here you are, my dear.”

So it shouldn’t have come as too much an additional surprise when my friend Barbara posted about this book, A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last, by Stephen Levine.

Click to read more on Amazon.com

Even before I saw it, I had the mindset that I was going to take 2013 by the horns and embrace all of it as if this could be “it,” even if it wasn’t. Turns out, there’s an entire book dedicated to this very thing! And Barbara is reading it! And now I am, too, as my first audiobook. (Downloading the Audible app onto my smartphone made this especially accessible, and the Philips SHE3580 series earbuds make it very comfortable for someone sensitive to pain to listen whilst lying down.)

Another thing that I just found–or that just found me, perhaps I should say–is The Big C, one of those shows you’re interested in but it just doesn’t feel like the right time to watch it. Until you finally do, and realize it could have never impacted you more than it was right then. ♥ I’m excited for the finale this Spring! (I’m excited at the prospect of being alive in Spring, aha!)

Speaking of which, on to my next resolution.

 

Many may have seen what I’m calling “the Joy Jar.” The idea is to write good things that happen to you during the year on pieces of paper, and put them into a jar. At the end of the year, you will have a fine opportunity to get a papercut a collection of events that made you happy to reflect upon, and it can help people focus on the positive side of life when it’s so much easier to focus on what you lack, or what you perceive to be wrong. But I thought I’d augment the idea into something I can actually see myself doing.

journal
Several years ago a friend gave me this journal that I didn’t get to write in very much before illness worsened.
Every day, I am going to write one good thing/something for which I am thankful. And I’m going to continue my goal to attain fluency, so I will be writing it all in French.

 

One of the most unexpected things I realized at the end of last year, was that I am so very tired of only leaving my house for doctors. It usually takes at least two days of carefully organizing spoons, one day of rest, and several stabilizing medications, to get me out of the house in a semi-functional capacity…and arrive at an appointment. Why? Because it’s critical for my physical health. So what made me think that my emotional health was any less important? I’m such an advocate for taking care of your mind, and yet I completely surpassed the notion of that care applying to something like this, too.

So I’m getting out more, to do things that don’t involve anything medical.

I fought for years to be able to breathe again and walk again and I’d like to do things–important things, fun things, memorable things!–while I’m still able. I shall go to the theatre more–performing arts and movies, visit more with friends, and dine at one new restaurant per month with my family.

English: The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in...
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in Antwerpen, Belgium 2006
And I have plans to see His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama this year!

Such an event is also on a friend’s bucket list, so we’ve decided to go together. I’ve already gone to the park this month, and in a few weeks I am going to the zoo. (I love the zoo; I used to go every year.) Other things I have planned for the near future are going to see a local chamber orchestra, going to a dance performance (with seats in the front row balcony), and taking my niece to see Jurassic Park in 3D… I may think of more, who knows!

 

Finally, I’ve vowed to follow through with my artistic urges, wherever they lead.

I’m going to express myself through whatever creative means are natural to me. I’m going to write uninhibitedly, because

“Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” (Bernard Baruch)

I’m going to use those watercolours, the GOOD paints and the NEW brushes and the SPECIAL paper I’d been saving for “important” projects. And I’m going to take those pictures, I’m going to record more memories with my gorgeous new Samsung WB100 digital camera with HD video, 16.2 MP resolution, and 26X optical zoom.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” (as attributed to Jesus in The Gospel of Thomas)
I’m going to live my life this year, and no longer put things on hold.

Did you make any resolutions this year? Do you believe in making them, or are you the type to make a decision whenever you feel ready for it, New Year or not?

a rainbow at night

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5 thoughts on “Let’s talk about my New Year’s resolutions.

  1. I’m glad you like the book so far! I haven’t made a lot of progress with it myself this month, but hey, it’s only January! :)

    I love all your goals for this year, and I’m so excited for you that you’ll be seeing the Dalai Lama!! SO cool.

    Making more art – I’m learning how to paint and draw – is a goal for me this year; also to get my first book ready and published; and more writing and blogging! I know, that sounds vague, but I’m trying to keep my goals simple and not overwhelm myself yet with details, I guess. I’ve been working through a big writer’s block lately, and I’m just trying to focus on progress of any kind. Also, I just started therapy again, and I have high hopes about that.

    Oh, and staying out of the hospital is another goal. :)

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    1. I have to admit, once it gets toward the middle it was a little difficult to follow because I feel like all I’ve done for the past few years IS a life review. I’m glad for the audio format or it probably wouldn’t have been able to hold my attention long enough to get through it! Now I’m at the latter third and back on track. I’m here to talk about it whenever you do get there!

      Learning how to paint? I saw your crane painting and if that is “learning” then you have a natural talent! ♥

      I hope you don’t require any hospital services, but it’s nice to know they are available if you need them. Staying out of the hospital isn’t a goal I think we can control too much. In the end we’re not really defined by how many hospital visits we make…

      I think, just maybe, it might be another thing I’ve used to judge how accomplished I am at controlling an uncontrollable disease. I’m working on letting that go. I am no more defined by hospital visits than I am by how much pain medication I need.

      It sounds smart to not overwhelm yourself with details. Maybe you could find a place that offers daily writing prompts! If you find one, let me know–I might like to occasionally participate. :)

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      1. I will let you know when I get caught up with the book a bit more. :)

        And thank you for that compliment about my art! Makes me smile.

        My writing block melted this week, and I finished a story I’d promised someone, 21 pages worth! SO happy. There are a lot of places with prompts and such – I follow one on Twitter, I’ll try to find the name for you. Now, I just want to keep up my momentum, and start writing something else soon! :)

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